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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cleopatra's Needle on Victoria Embankment in Westminster, London

Cleopatra's Needle is an ancient Egyptian obelisks re-erected in London near the Victoria Embankment in Westminster. There is a similar obelisk in New York.

The obelisk is made of red granite and stands about 68 feet high. It weighs about 224 tons and is inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs.



The obelisk was presented to the United Kingdom in 1819 by the ruler of Egypt and Sudan Muhammad Ali, in commemoration of the victories of Lord Nelson at the Battle of the Nile and Sir Ralph Abercromby at the Battle of Alexandria in 1801.

Cleopatra's Needle is flanked by two faux-Egyptian sphinxes cast from bronze that bear hieroglyphic inscriptions that say netjer nefer men-kheper-re di ankh (the good god, Thuthmosis III given life).

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